Objective. To identify the microbiota communities in the vaginal tracts of healthy Mexican women across the pregnancy. Methods. Vaginal swabs were obtained during the prenatal visit of women from all trimesters (n = 64) of healthy pregnant women of Mexico City. DNA was isolated from each sample, and PCR-DGGE and sequencing of 16S rRNA gene fragments were used to identify the bacterial communities. Results. 21 different microorganisms were identified in the vaginal samples. Lactobacillus genus was present in 98% of women studied. Four lactobacilli species were identified in vaginal samples. L. acidophilus was the predominant (78%) followed by L. iners (54%), L. gasseri (20%), and L. delbrueckii (6%). 17 different microorganisms related to bacterial vaginosis conditions were identified. Ureaplasma urealyticum was the predominant (21%) followed by BVAB1 (17%) and Gemella bergeriae (7.8%). Conclusions. Lactobacillus genus predominates in the vaginal samples of Mexican pregnant women associated with different microorganisms related to bacterial vaginosis conditions.
The vaginal bacterial microbiota of 19 premenopausal women was examined by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of the V2-V3 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Ten of the women were studied further to investigate the effect and persistence of vaginally inserted capsules containing viable lactobacilli. PCR-DGGE indicated that most subjects had a microbiota represented by one to three dominant DNA fragments. Analysis of these fragments revealed that 79% of the women possessed sequences with high levels of similarity to Lactobacillus species sequences. Sequences homologous to Lactobacillus iners sequences were the most common and were detected in 42% of the women tested. Alteration of the vaginal microbiota could be detected by PCR-DGGE in several women after the instillation of lactobacilli. Additionally, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis of lactobacilli isolated from selective media demonstrated that the exogenous strains could be detected for up to 21 days in some subjects. This study demonstrates that non-culture-based techniques, such as PCR-DGGE, are useful adjuncts for studies of the vaginal microbiota.
Ageing changes gut microbiota composition and alters immune system function. Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics may improve the health status of elderly individuals by modifying the intestinal environment and the microbiota composition, and by stimulating the immune system. In this work, we studied the effects of synbiotic supplementation on the gut microbiota of healthy elderly volunteers. Fifty-one elders were randomly assigned to consume either a synbiotic dietary supplement or a placebo in addition to their usual diet for a 2-week period. The synbiotic product consisted of the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and the prebiotic lactitol and was ingested twice a day, with a total daily dose of 10 g lactitol and 2 × 1010 cells of probiotic bacteria. Before, during and after the intervention period fecal quantities of six phylogenetic bacterial groups were determined using quantitative PCR, and relative changes in total microbiota composition were assessed by percent guanine-plus-cytosine profiling. The microbiota profiles showed certain relative changes within the microbial community, and indicated an increase of bifidobacteria levels during synbiotic supplementation. Quantification by PCR confirmed the in changes in the microbiota composition; for example increases in total levels of endogenous bifidobacteria and lactobacilli were recorded. Throughout the 6-week study period there was a decrease unrelated to intervention in the Blautia coccoides–Eubacterium rectale bacterial group levels and Clostridium cluster XIVab levels, but this decrease appeared to be halted during the synbiotic intervention. In conclusion, putatively beneficial changes in microbiota were observed in the elderly subjects supplemented with the synbiotic product.
Lactobacillus acidophilus; NCFM; Lactitol; Synbiotic; Elderly; Microbiota
Urogenital infections of bacterial origin have a high incidence
among the world female population at reproductive age.
Lactobacilli, the predominant microorganisms of the healthy
vaginal microbiota, have shown a protective effect against the
colonization and overgrowth of urogenital pathogens that increased
the interest for including them into probiotics products assigned
to restore the urogenital balance. In the present work, we
determined in a mouse animal model the capability of Lactobacillus paracasei CRL 1289, a human vaginal strain with probiotic properties, to prevent the vaginal colonization of a uropathogenic strain of Staphylococcus aureus.
Six-week-old female BALB/c mice, synchronized in their estral
cycle, were intravaginally inoculated with two doses of 109 lactobacilli before challenging them with a single dose of 105 or 107 CFU of S. aureus. The vaginal colonization of both microorganisms and the effect on the vaginal structure were determined at 2, 5, and 7 days after pathogen
inoculation. Control mice and those challenged only with the
pathogen showed an insignificant lactobacilli population, whereas 105 lactobacilli/mL of vaginal homogenate were recovered at 2
days after challenge from the L. paracasei CRL 1289 and
the probiotic + pathogen groups, decreasing this number on the
following days. The treatment with L. paracasei CRL 1289
decreased significantly the number of staphylococci recovered at 2
and 5 days when mice were challenged only with 105 CFU of
pathogen. The inoculation of S. aureus produced a
remarkable inflammatory response and structural alterations in the
vaginal mucosa that decreases in a significant manner when the
mice were protected with L. paracasei CRL 1289. The
results obtained suggest that this particular Lactobacillus strain could prevent the onset of urogenital infections by interfering with the epithelial
colonization by uropathogenic S. aureus.
The microbial flora of the vagina plays a major role in preventing genital infections, including bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candidiasis (CA). An integrated approach based on PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and real-time PCR was used to study the structure and dynamics of bacterial communities in vaginal fluids of healthy women and patients developing BV and CA. Universal eubacterial primers and Lactobacillus genus-specific primers, both targeted at 16S rRNA genes, were used in DGGE and real-time PCR analysis, respectively. The DGGE profiles revealed that the vaginal flora was dominated by Lactobacillus species under healthy conditions, whereas several potentially pathogenic bacteria were present in the flora of women with BV. Lactobacilli were the predominant bacterial population in the vagina for patients affected by CA, but changes in the composition of Lactobacillus species were observed. Real-time PCR analysis allowed the quantitative estimation of variations in lactobacilli associated with BV and CA diseases. A statistically significant decrease in the relative abundance of lactobacilli was found in vaginal fluids of patients with BV compared to the relative abundance of lactobacilli in the vaginal fluids of healthy women and patients with CA.
To determine if different racial groups shared common types of vaginal microbiota we characterized the composition and structure of vaginal bacterial communities in asymptomatic and apparently healthy Japanese women in Tokyo, Japan and compared them with those of White and Black women from North America. The composition of vaginal communities was compared based on community profiles of terminal restriction fragments of 16S rRNA genes and phylogenetic analysis of cloned 16S rRNA gene sequences of the numerically dominant bacterial populations. The types of vaginal communities found in Japanese women were similar to those of Black and White women. As with White and Black women, most vaginal communities were dominated by lactobacilli, and only four species of Lactobacillus (L. iners, L. crispatus, L. jensenii and L. gasseri) were commonly found. Communities dominated by multiple species of lactobacilli were common in Japanese and White women, but rare in Black women. The incidence in Japanese women of vaginal communities with several non-Lactobacillus species at moderately high frequencies was intermediate between Black women and White women. The limited number of community types found among women in different ethnic groups suggests that host genetic factors, including the innate and adaptive immune systems, may be more important in determining the species composition of vaginal bacterial communities than are cultural and behavioral differences.
Vaginal microbiota; 16S rRNA genes; bacterial communities; Japanese women
The bacterial biota of the human vagina can have a profound impact on the health of women and their neonates. Changes in the vaginal microbiota have been associated with several adverse health outcomes including premature birth, pelvic inflammatory disease, and acquisition of HIV infection. Cultivation-independent molecular methods have provided new insights regarding bacterial diversity in this important niche, particularly in women with the common condition bacterial vaginosis (BV). PCR methods have shown that women with BV have complex communities of vaginal bacteria that include many fastidious species, particularly from the phyla Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Healthy women are mostly colonized with lactobacilli such as Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus jensenii, and Lactobacillus iners, though a variety of other bacteria may be present. The microbiology of BV is heterogeneous. The presence of Gardnerella vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae coating the vaginal epithelium in some subjects with BV suggests that biofilms may contribute to this condition.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal disorder characterized by an alteration of the vaginal bacterial morphotypes, associated with sexually transmitted infections and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact of different doses of rifaximin vaginal tablets (100 mg/day for 5 days, 25 mg/day for 5 days, and 100 mg/day for 2 days) on the vaginal microbiota of 102 European patients with BV enrolled in a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. An integrated molecular approach based on quantitative PCR (qPCR) and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) was used to investigate the effects of vaginal tablets containing the antibiotic. An increase in members of the genus Lactobacillus and a decrease in the BV-related bacterial groups after the antibiotic treatment were demonstrated by qPCR. PCR-DGGE profiles confirmed the capability of rifaximin to modulate the composition of the vaginal microbial communities and to reduce their complexity. This molecular analysis supported the clinical observation that rifaximin at 25 mg/day for 5 days represents an effective treatment to be used in future pivotal studies for the treatment of BV.
Vaginal flora of healthy women is dominated by Lactobacillus species which can prevent bacterial vaginosis.
The current study aimed to determine the differences in vaginal lactobacilli composition of Iranian healthy and bacterial vaginosis (BV) infected women and compared their cytotoxic effects with commercial vaginal probiotics.
Patients and Methods
One hundred and seventy eight vaginal specimens were collected from healthy and BV infected women. Lactobacillus colonies were obtained by culturing on laked blood BHI and MRS medias and genetically defined by 16s rRNA sequencing. Differentiating the specimens to normal, intermediate and BV infected were carried out by Ison and Hey grading protocol. Identification of Lactobacillus strains in vaginal specimens were performed by Multiplex PCR. The inhibitory effects of lactobacilli on Hela (tumoral cervical cells) and HNCF-pi52 (normal cervical cells) were conducted by MTT and trypan blue assays.
L. crispatus, L. gasseri, L. iners, L. jensenii, L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus were the most frequently occurring species in vagina of healthy Iranian women. L. crispatus and L. jensenni were significantly higher in the normal than in the BV infected groups. Also the cytotoxic effect of L. crispatus on tumoral cervical cells was higher than other lactobacilli including commercial probiotics.
As L. crispatus and L. jensenni were significantly higher in BV infected women and the cytotoxic effect of L. crispatus on tumoral cervical cells was high, introduction of new probiotics seems necessary.
Vagina; Bacterial Vaginosis; Women; T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic; Probiotic; Iran
Probiotics are live microorganisms that potentially confer beneficial outcomes to host by modulating gut microbiota in the intestine. The aim of this study was to comprehensively investigate effects of probiotics on human intestinal microbiota using 454 pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA genes with an improved quantitative accuracy for evaluation of the bacterial composition. We obtained 158 faecal samples from 18 healthy adult Japanese who were subjected to intervention with 6 commercially available probiotics containing either Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus strains. We then analysed and compared bacterial composition of the faecal samples collected before, during, and after probiotic intervention by Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and UniFrac distances. The results showed no significant changes in the overall structure of gut microbiota in the samples with and without probiotic administration regardless of groups and types of the probiotics used. We noticed that 32 OTUs (2.7% of all analysed OTUs) assigned to the indigenous species showed a significant increase or decrease of ≥10-fold or a quantity difference in >150 reads on probiotic administration. Such OTUs were found to be individual specific and tend to be unevenly distributed in the subjects. These data, thus, suggest robustness of the gut microbiota composition in healthy adults on probiotic administration.
probiotics; gut microbiota; 16S ribosomal RNA gene; pyrosequencing
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an ecological disorder of the vaginal microbiota that affects millions of women annually, and is associated with numerous adverse health outcomes including pre-term birth and the acquisition of sexually transmitted infections. However, little is known about the overall structure and composition of vaginal microbial communities; most of the earlier studies focused on predominant vaginal bacteria in the process of BV. In the present study, the diversity and richness of vaginal microbiota in 50 BV positive and 50 healthy women from China were investigated using culture-independent PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and barcoded 454 pyrosequencing methods, and validated by quantitative PCR.
Our data demonstrated that there was a profound shift in the absolute and relative abundances of bacterial species present in the vagina when comparing populations associated with healthy and diseased conditions. In spite of significant interpersonal variations, the diversity of vaginal microbiota in the two groups could be clearly divided into two clusters. A total of 246,359 high quality pyrosequencing reads was obtained for evaluating bacterial diversity and 24,298 unique sequences represented all phylotypes. The most predominant phyla of bacteria identified in the vagina belonged to Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Fusobacteria. The higher number of phylotypes in BV positive women over healthy is consistent with the results of previous studies and a large number of low-abundance taxa which were missed in previous studies were revealed. Although no single bacterium could be identified as a specific marker for healthy over diseased conditions, three phyla - Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Fusobacteria, and eight genera including Gardnerella, Atopobium, Megasphaera, Eggerthella, Aerococcus, Leptotrichia/Sneathia, Prevotella and Papillibacter were strongly associated with BV (p < 0.05). These genera are potentially excellent markers and could be used as targets for clinical BV diagnosis by molecular approaches.
The data presented here have clearly profiled the overall structure of vaginal communities and clearly demonstrated that BV is associated with a dramatic increase in the taxonomic richness and diversity of vaginal microbiota. The study also provides the most comprehensive picture of the vaginal community structure and the bacterial ecosystem, and significantly contributes to the current understanding of the etiology of BV.
Women living with HIV and co-infected with bacterial vaginosis (BV) are at higher risk for transmitting HIV to a partner or newborn. It is poorly understood which bacterial communities constitute BV or the normal vaginal microbiota among this population and how the microbiota associated with BV responds to antibiotic treatment.
Methods and Findings
The vaginal microbiota of 132 HIV positive Tanzanian women, including 39 who received metronidazole treatment for BV, were profiled using Illumina to sequence the V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Of note, Gardnerella vaginalis and Lactobacillus iners were detected in each sample constituting core members of the vaginal microbiota. Eight major clusters were detected with relatively uniform microbiota compositions. Two clusters dominated by L. iners or L. crispatus were strongly associated with a normal microbiota. The L. crispatus dominated microbiota were associated with low pH, but when L. crispatus was not present, a large fraction of L. iners was required to predict a low pH. Four clusters were strongly associated with BV, and were dominated by Prevotella bivia, Lachnospiraceae, or a mixture of different species. Metronidazole treatment reduced the microbial diversity and perturbed the BV-associated microbiota, but rarely resulted in the establishment of a lactobacilli-dominated microbiota.
Illumina based microbial profiling enabled high though-put analyses of microbial samples at a high phylogenetic resolution. The vaginal microbiota among women living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa constitutes several profiles associated with a normal microbiota or BV. Recurrence of BV frequently constitutes a different BV-associated profile than before antibiotic treatment.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV), which is highly prevalent in the African population, is one of the most common vaginal syndromes affecting women in their reproductive age placing them at increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases including infection by human immunodeficiency virus-1. The vaginal microbiota of a healthy woman is often dominated by the species belonging to the genus Lactobacillus namely L. crispatus, L. gasseri, L. jensenii and L. iners, which have been extensively studied in European populations, albeit less so in South African women. In this study, we have therefore identified the vaginal Lactobacillus species in a group of 40 African women from Soweto, a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Identification was done by cultivating the lactobacilli on Rogosa agar, de Man-Rogosa-Sharpe (MRS) and Blood agar plates with 5% horse blood followed by sequencing of the 16S ribosomal DNA. BV was diagnosed on the basis of Nugent scores. Since some of the previous studies have shown that the lack of vaginal hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) producing lactobacilli is associated with bacterial vaginosis, the Lactobacillus isolates were also characterised for their production of H2O2.
Cultivable Lactobacillus species were identified in 19 out of 21 women without BV, in three out of five women with intermediate microbiota and in eight out of 14 women with BV. We observed that L. crispatus, L. iners, L. jensenii, L. gasseri and L. vaginalis were the predominant species. The presence of L. crispatus was associated with normal vaginal microbiota (P = 0.024). High level of H2O2 producing lactobacilli were more often isolated from women with normal microbiota than from the women with BV, although not to a statistically significant degree (P = 0.064).
The vaginal Lactobacillus species isolated from the cohort of South African women are similar to those identified in European populations. In accordance with the other published studies, L. crispatus is related to a normal vaginal microbiota. Hydrogen peroxide production was not significantly associated to the BV status which could be attributed to the limited number of samples or to other antimicrobial factors that might be involved.
Bacterial vaginosis; Lactobacillus; South Africa; Hydrogen peroxide
Antibiotic associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile infection are frequent complications of broad spectrum antibiotic therapy. Probiotic bacteria are used as therapeutic and preventive agents in these disorders, but the exact functional mechanisms and the mode of action are poorly understood. The effects of clindamycin and the probiotic mixture VSL#3 (containing the 8 bacterial strains Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus) consecutively or in combination were investigated and compared to controls without therapy using a standardized human fecal microbiota in a computer-controlled in vitro model of large intestine. Microbial metabolites (short chain fatty acids, lactate, branched chain fatty acids, and ammonia) and the intestinal microbiota were analyzed.
Compared to controls and combination therapy, short chain fatty acids and lactate, but also ammonia and branched chain fatty acids, were increased under probiotic therapy. The metabolic pattern under combined therapy with antibiotics and probiotics had the most beneficial and consistent effect on intestinal metabolic profiles. The intestinal microbiota showed a decrease in several indigenous bacterial groups under antibiotic therapy, there was no significant recovery of these groups when the antibiotic therapy was followed by administration of probiotics. Simultaneous application of anti- and probiotics had a stabilizing effect on the intestinal microbiota with increased bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Administration of VSL#3 parallel with the clindamycin therapy had a beneficial and stabilizing effect on the intestinal metabolic homeostasis by decreasing toxic metabolites and protecting the endogenic microbiota from destruction. Probiotics could be a reasonable strategy in prevention of antibiotic associated disturbances of the intestinal homeostasis and disorders.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that negatively impacts the quality of life for many individuals. The exact etiology of this disorder is largely unknown; however, emerging studies suggest that the gut microbiota is a contributing factor. Several clinical trials show that probiotics, such as VSL#3, can have a favorable effect on IBS. This double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study has been conducted in diarrhea-predominant IBS subjects in order to investigate the effect of VSL#3 on the fecal microbiota. The bacterial composition of the fecal microbiota was investigated using high-throughput microarray technology to detect 16S RNA. Twenty four subjects were randomized to receive VSL#3 or placebo for 8 weeks. IBS symptoms were monitored using GSRS and quality of life questionnaires. A favorable change in Satiety subscale was noted in the VSL #3 groups. However, the consumption of the probiotic did not change the gut microbiota. There were no adverse events or any safety concerns encountered during this study. To summarize, the use of VSL#3 in this pilot study was safe and showed improvement in specific GSRS-IBS scores in diarrhea-predominant IBS subjects. The gut microbiota was not affected by VSL#3 consumption suggesting that the mechanism of action is not directly linked to the microbiota.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome; Diarrhea; Probiotics; Microbiota
The human vagina is inhabited by a range of microbes from a pool of over 50 species. Lactobacilli are the most common, particularly in healthy women. The microbiota can change composition rapidly, for reasons that are not fully clear. This can lead to infection or to a state in which organisms with pathogenic potential coexist with other commensals. The most common urogenital infection in premenopausal women is bacterial vaginosis (BV), a condition characterized by a depletion of lactobacilli population and the presence of Gram-negative anaerobes, or in some cases Gram-positive cocci, and aerobic pathogens. Treatment of BV traditionally involves the antibiotics metronidazole or clindamycin, however, the recurrence rate remains high, and this treatment is not designed to restore the lactobacilli. In vitro studies have shown that Lactobacillus strains can disrupt BV and yeast biofilms and inhibit the growth of urogenital pathogens. The use of probiotics to populate the vagina and prevent or treat infection has been considered for some time, but only quite recently have data emerged to show efficacy, including supplementation of antimicrobial treatment to improve cure rates and prevent recurrences.
The human gut harbors a diverse community of microorganisms which serve numerous important functions for the host wellbeing. Functional foods are commonly used to modulate the composition of the gut microbiota contributing to the maintenance of the host health or prevention of disease. In the present study, we characterized the impact of one month intake of a synbiotic food, containing fructooligosaccharides and the probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus Bar13 and Bifidobacterium longum Bar33, on the gut microbiota composition and metabolic profiles of 20 healthy subjects.
The synbiotic food did not modify the overall structure of the gut microbiome, as indicated by Polymerase Chain Reaction-Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). The ability of the probiotic L. helveticus and B. longum strains to pass through the gastrointestinal tract was hypothesized on the basis of real-time PCR data. In spite of a stable microbiota, the intake of the synbiotic food resulted in a shift of the fecal metabolic profiles, highlighted by the Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (GC-MS/SPME) analysis. The extent of short chain fatty acids (SCFA), ketones, carbon disulfide and methyl acetate was significantly affected by the synbiotic food consumption. Furthermore, the Canonical discriminant Analysis of Principal coordinates (CAP) of GC-MS/SPME profiles allowed a separation of the stool samples recovered before and after the consumption of the functional food.
In this study we investigated the global impact of a dietary intervention on the gut ecology and metabolism in healthy humans. We demonstrated that the intake of a synbiotic food leads to a modulation of the gut metabolic activities with a maintenance of the gut biostructure. In particular, the significant increase of SCFA, ketones, carbon disulfide and methyl acetate following the feeding period suggests potential health promoting effects of the synbiotic food.
The intestinal microbiota plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of pouchitis, a major complication after ileal pouch anal anastomosis in patients with ulcerative colitis. Recently, controlled trials have demonstrated that probiotics are effective in maintenance of remission in pouchitis patients. However, the mechanism by which therapy with probiotics works remains elusive. This study explores the role of the bacterial and fungal flora in a controlled trial for maintenance of remission in pouchitis patients with the probiotic VSL#3 compound.
The mucosa associated pouch microbiota was investigated before and after therapy with VSL#3 by analysis of endoscopic biopsies using ribosomal DNA/RNA based community fingerprint analysis, clone libraries, real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and fluorescence in situ hybridisation. Patients were recruited from a placebo controlled remission maintenance trial with VSL#3.
Patients who developed pouchitis while treated with placebo had low bacterial and high fungal diversity. Bacterial diversity was increased and fungal diversity was reduced in patients in remission maintained with VSL#3 (p = 0.001). Real time PCR experiments demonstrated that VSL#3 increased the total number of bacterial cells (p = 0.002) and modified the spectrum of bacteria towards anaerobic species. Taxa specific clone libraries for Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria showed that the richness and spectrum of these bacteria were altered under probiotic therapy.
Probiotic therapy with VSL#3 increases the total number of intestinal bacterial cells as well as the richness and diversity of the bacterial microbiota, especially the anaerobic flora. The diversity of the fungal flora is repressed. Restoration of the integrity of a “protective” intestinal mucosa related microbiota could therefore be a potential mechanism of probiotic bacteria in inflammatory barrier diseases of the lower gastrointestinal tract.
bacteria; fungi; microflora; pouchitis; probiotics
Little is known about short-term bacterial fluctuations in the human vagina. This study used PCR to assess the variability in concentrations of key vaginal bacteria in healthy women and the immediate response to antibiotic treatment in women with bacterial vaginosis (BV).
Twenty-two women assessed for BV using Amsel's criteria were evaluated daily for 7 or 14 days, then at 2, 3 and 4 weeks, using a panel of 11 bacterium-specific quantitative PCR assays. Participants with BV were treated with 5 days of intravaginal metronidazole. Participants without BV had vaginal biotas dominated by lactobacilli, whose levels fluctuated with menses. With onset of menstruation, quantities of Lactobacillus jensenii and Lactobacillus crispatus decreased and were found to be inversely related to Gardnerella vaginalis concentrations (p<0.001). Women with BV had a variety of fastidious bacteria whose concentrations dropped below detection thresholds 1–5 days after starting metronidazole. Recurrent BV was characterized by initial profound decreases of BV-associated bacteria after treatment followed by subsequent increases at relapse.
The microbiota of the human vagina can be highly dynamic. Healthy women are colonized with Lactobacillus species, but levels can change dramatically over a month. Marked increases in G. vaginalis were observed during menses. Participants with BV have diverse communities of fastidious bacteria that are depleted by vaginal metronidazole therapy. Women with recurrent BV initially respond to antibiotic treatment with steep declines in bacterial concentrations, but these bacteria later reemerge, suggesting that antibiotic resistance in these bacteria is not an important factor mediating BV recurrence.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a recurrent condition that is associated with a range of negative outcomes, including the acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted diseases, preterm births, and pelvic inflammatory disease. In contrast to the Lactobacillus-dominated normal vaginal microbiota, BV is characterized by a lack of lactobacilli and an abundance of anaerobic and gram-negative organisms, including Gardnerella vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae. To date, the laboratory diagnosis of BV has relied upon the fulfillment of criteria determined by microscopic observation of Gram-stained vaginal swabs. We describe a molecular-based method for the easy determination of the species profile within the vaginal microbiota based on the amplification of the chaperonin-60 genes of all bacteria present in the swab and hybridization of the amplicon to species-specific oligonucleotide-coupled fluorescent beads that are identified by flow cytometry with a Luminex instrument. We designed a nineplex Luminex array for characterization of the vaginal microbiota and applied it to the analysis of vaginal swabs from individuals from Africa and North America. Using the presence of A. vaginae or G. vaginalis, or both, as the defining criterion for BV, we found that the method was highly specific and sensitive for the diagnosis of BV using microscopy as a gold standard.
Lactobacilli, the predominant vaginal microorganisms in healthy premenopausal women, control other members of the vaginal microflora and thus protect against bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections. It has been claimed that some lactobacilli are also protective against Candida vaginitis. Little is known, however, about the mechanisms by which these lactobacilli can control vaginal populations of Candida and prevent vaginitis. To address this question, vaginal Lactobacillus strains with known antagonistic properties against bacteria were tested for their cell surface properties, adhesion to vaginal cell lines in vitro and antagonistic activities against Candida. A small proportion of the lactobacilli tested adhered strongly to cultured vaginal epithelial cells and inhibited growth of Candida albicans but not of C. pseudotropicalis. This anticandidal activity was in some Lactobacillus strains related to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production, but catalase treatment did not suppress this activity in other Lactobacillus strains, suggesting alternative mechanism(s). Moreover, tested vaginal Candida strains were resistant to relatively high concentrations of H2O2 that markedly exceeded those produced by even the most active Lactobacillus strains.
Accumulating evidence indicates that the intestinal microbiota regulates our physiology and metabolism. Bacteria marketed as probiotics confer health benefits that may arise from their ability to affect the microbiota. Here high-throughput screening of the intestinal microbiota was carried out and integrated with serum lipidomic profiling data to study the impact of probiotic intervention on the intestinal ecosystem, and to explore the associations between the intestinal bacteria and serum lipids. We performed a comprehensive intestinal microbiota analysis using a phylogenetic microarray before and after Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG intervention. While a specific increase in the L. rhamnosus-related bacteria was observed during the intervention, no other changes in the composition or stability of the microbiota were detected. After the intervention, lactobacilli returned to their initial levels. As previously reported, also the serum lipid profiles remained unaltered during the intervention. Based on a high-resolution microbiota analysis, intake of L. rhamnosus GG did not modify the composition of the intestinal ecosystem in healthy adults, indicating that probiotics confer their health effects by other mechanisms. The most prevailing association between the gut microbiota and lipid profiles was a strong positive correlation between uncultured phylotypes of Ruminococcus gnavus-group and polyunsaturated serum triglycerides of dietary origin. Moreover, a positive correlation was detected between serum cholesterol and Collinsella (Coriobacteriaceae). These associations identified with the spectrometric lipidome profiling were corroborated by enzymatically determined cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Actinomycetaceae correlated negatively with triglycerides of highly unsaturated fatty acids while a set of Proteobacteria showed negative correlation with ether phosphatidylcholines. Our results suggest that several members of the Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria may be involved in the metabolism of dietary and endogenous lipids, and provide a scientific rationale for further human studies to explore the role of intestinal microbes in host lipid metabolism.
Microbiota; Lipidomics; Probiotics; Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG; Gastrointestinal tract; Physiology; High-throughput profiling
Background and Objective
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal disorder, characterized by depletion of the normal lactobacillus-dominant microbiota and overgrowth of commensal anaerobic bacteria. This study aimed to investigate the composition of the vaginal microbiota in women of reproductive age (healthy women and women with BV), with the view of developing molecular criteria for BV diagnosis.
Materials and Methods
Vaginal samples from 163 women (79 control, 73 BV and 11 intermediate (Lactobacillary grade II flora) cases) were analyzed using 454 pyrosequencing of the hypervariable regions V3–V4 of the 16S rRNA gene and 16 quantitative bacterial species/genus-specific real-time PCR assays. Sensitivities and specificities of potential BV markers were computed using the Amsel criteria as reference standard for BV. The use of quantitative thresholds for prediction of BV, determined for both relative abundance measured with 454 pyrosequencing and bacterial load measured with qPCR, was evaluated.
Relative to the healthy women, the BV patients had in their vaginal microbiota significantly higher prevalence, loads and relative abundances of the majority of BV associated bacteria. However, only Gardnerella vaginalis, Atopobium vaginae, Eggerthella, Prevotella, BVAB2 and Megasphaera type 1 detected at or above optimal thresholds were highly predictable for BV, with the best diagnostic accuracy shown for A. vaginae. The depletion of Lactobacillus species combined with the presence of either G. vaginalis or A. vaginae at diagnostic levels was a highly accurate BV predictor.
Quantitative determination of the presence of G. vaginalis, A. vaginae, Eggerthella, Prevotella, BVAB2 and Megasphaera type 1 as well as the depletion of Lactobacillus was highly accurate for BV diagnosis. Measurements of abundance of normal and BV microbiota relative to total bacteria in vaginal fluid may provide more accurate BV diagnosis, and be used for test-of-cure, rather than qualitative detection or absolute counts of BV related microorganisms.
Objective: During bacterial vaginosis, an unexplained decrease of vaginal lactobacilli occurs. To identify whether these lactobacilli could be infected by phages, we isolated phages from vaginal lactobacilli and analyzed their potential virulence in attacking vaginal lactobacilli in vitro.
Methods: Vaginal samples were obtained from 39 reproductive-aged women. The selective Rogosa SL agar was used to isolate lactobacilli, from which phages induced by mitomycin C or released spontaneoulsy were analyzed by the agar spot method.
Results: Of 20 samples from women with vaginal infections, 12 did not have lactobacilli. From the remaining 8 infection samples and the 19 samples from healthy women, 37 Lactobacillus strains were isolated, from which 7 temperate phages were identified. Upon analysis, all 7 phages infected vaginal lactobacilli from the same and/or different women in vitro. Two phages, Φkc005 and Φkc007, had a broad host range, infecting 7 of 8 species tested. A control intestinal Lactobacillus phage also lysed several vaginal strains. One vaginal phage, Φkc039, was apparently lytic against vaginal lactobacilli from 7 other women. This phage was characterized as follows: plaque morphology, small and clear; burst size, 300 phages per cell; spontaneous induction rate, 1 per 106 cells; DNA, double-stranded and linear, 41 kb; and shape, a hexogonal head and a non-contractile tail.
Conclusions: Bacteriophages were isolated from vaginal lactobacilli of some women and were shown in vitro to lyse vaginal Lactobacillus strains from the same and/or different women. It was suggested that vaginal lactobacilli might be suppressed by phages.
Some vaginal bacterial communities are thought to prevent infection by sexually transmitted organisms. Prior work demonstrated that the vaginal microbiota of reproductive-age women cluster into five types of bacterial communities; 4 dominated by Lactobacillus species (L. iners, L. crispatus, L. gasseri, L. jensenii), and one (termed community state type (CST) IV) lacking significant numbers of lactobacilli and characterized by higher proportions of Atopobium, Prevotella, Parvimonas, Sneathia, Gardnerella, Mobiluncus, and other taxa. We sought to evaluate the relationship between vaginal bacterial composition and Trichomonas vaginalis.
Self-collected vaginal swabs were obtained cross-sectionally from 394 women equally representing four ethnic/racial groups. T. vaginalis screening was performed using PCR targeting the 18S rRNA and β-tubulin genes. Vaginal bacterial composition was characterized by pyrosequencing of barcoded 16S rRNA genes. A panel of eleven microsatellite markers was used to genotype T. vaginalis. The association between vaginal microbiota and T. vaginalis was evaluated by exact logistic regression.
T. vaginalis was detected in 2.8% of participants (11/394). Of the eleven T. vaginalis-positive cases, eight (72%) were categorized as CST-IV, two (18%) as communities dominated by L. iners and one (9%) as L. crispatus-dominated (p-value:0.05). CST-IV microbiota were associated with an 8-fold increased odds of detecting T. vaginalis compared to women in the L. crispatus-dominated state (OR:8.26, 95% CI:1.07–372.65). Seven of the 11 T. vaginalis isolates were assigned to two genotypes.
T. vaginalis was associated with vaginal microbiota consisting of low proportions of lactobacilli and high proportions of Mycoplasma, Parvimonas, Sneathia, and other anaerobes.
Trichomonas vaginalis; vaginal microbiota